August 24, 2005

Laffey, Chafee, Charlie, and the Outsiders

Carroll Andrew Morse

As a member of the “exotic subsample that votes in Republican primaries”, I would ask Projo political columnist Charles Bakst to give some further consideration to at least one of the points he made in his Tuesday column about a possible Lincoln Chafee/Steve Laffey primary…

I doubt that Rhode Island voters, even the exotic subsample that votes in Republican primaries, would welcome the idea that one of their senators is the target of a nationwide political assassination network.
I think Bakst is right about the underlying dynamic here; Rhode Islanders don’t like being told what to do by outside politicos.

However, at the moment, this dynamic is working in favor of Steve Laffey. I think “nationwide political assassination network” is a tad strong, but it is pretty clear that, as of today, the most prominent group of non-Rhode Islanders trying to impose their will on the state is the national Republican party in support of Chafee. Rhode Island Republicans won’t like having their party turned into a full-time subsidiary of the Chafee campaign without their permission.

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I think that Mr. Laffey is doing the best service he possibly can by being where he is. He is doing more to create a Republican base in his present position than he could possibly do in the Senate. Let's face it, as far as constituents are concerned, a Sentor's job is bringing home the bacon. Or, is it "pork"?

Posted by: Warrington Faust at August 24, 2005 5:24 PM

I always love it when Charles "Mr. Republican" Bakst gives us advice on how we ought to run our party. As a proud member of the "exotic subsample" on the far fringes of RI society, I am hopeful that Laffey will run for Senate. Laffey is in a great position. He literally could run for almost anything, but is weighing his options to see which one will have the greatest impact for his fellow Rhode Islanders. If he is convinced that he can beat Chafee AND have a better than even shot of winning in the general election, I'm convinced that he will go for it. We shouldn't be forced to accept mediocrity. Frankly, I think Chafee will be a weak candidate against either Whitehouse or Brown -- imagine a debate! It would be humiliating. Laffey is not perfect, but at least he knows who he is (a Republican!) and what he believes in. I will admit to voting for Chafee in 2000, essentially becuase he was the Republican, and I really didn't know all that much about him. I certainly know who he is now, even if he doesn't know himself. I'm not going to make the same mistake twice!

Posted by: Will at August 25, 2005 1:24 AM

Will, Laffey is going to run for the Senate because his ego will not allow him to run for any second tier state offices (Lt Gov, etc) and because he has been unable to secure a sweet deal from the governor or the Bush administration.
While Manning has been sitting on these much needed party funds for months, Laffey has been running around offering to stay away from the Senate race if given the right gig.
What a guy!!!
Will, a little dose of reality for you to consider. The only way Republicans win in RI is by securing a decent percentage of Democrat and union votes.
Not only will Laffey not get a decent percentage of Democrat and union votes statewide but he won't come close to securing 100% of the Republican vote.
Laffey "might" be able to beat a greatly weakened Chafee in a Republican primary, where the numbers of votes are much smaller, but he's not winning statewide in a general election.
His illegal alien ID card pandering to the minority community is going to backfire on him in the suburbs.

Posted by: Tim at August 25, 2005 8:57 AM

Warrington, I think there’s some wisdom in what you’re saying. Rather than trying to bury Laffey in the Lieutenant Governorship, the national Republicans would be better off offering to fully fund a Republican candidate in every city council race in Cranston, contingent on Laffey staying on as Mayor.

Posted by: Andrew at August 26, 2005 7:44 AM

Tim what prove do you have the Laffey has been waiting for someone to give him a gig?

Laffey will make a great senator.

Posted by: Sentinel at September 17, 2005 11:38 PM